See here. Faceberg has posted an apology on the company blog for the Beacon fiasco. Money quote: “I’m not proud of the way we’ve handled this situation and I know we can do better.”
Thing is, nobody ever doubted that Facebook can do better. What’s scary is the fact that they won’t do better until people start to scream at them. It’s the fact that it doesn’t really seem to be in their nature to do the right thing. Their instinct, in fact, seems to be to do the wrong thing, and to keep doing it until they get caught. Even after they get caught, their instinct is to spin and fudge and brazen it out. No wonder the Borg has partnered with them. It’s a match made in heaven. These guys are like Google, only their slogan isn’t “Don’t be evil” — it’s “Don’t get caught.”
Either that or they truly are a bunch of spoiled and scarily fucking clueless kids who honestly have no idea why people are upset about this, because they truly have no moral compass and they view this whole thing as just another pain in the ass hurdle to get over on the way to becoming rich. In which case, yeah, I’m, like, rilly rilly super glad that they’re, like, gathering information on me?
The smarmy fake apology is not at all reassuring and seems to have been written by PR people who were trying to imitate a 23-year-old kid who’s speaking from the heart and trying to sound all sheepish and aw-shucks — except the flacks can’t do it because they’re as insincere and stage-managed as as the Facebook guys. Plus, let’s face it, the flacks are getting paid in Facebook equity, right?
For what it’s worth, compare Facebook’s lame fake apology to the much more convincing fake apology that Katie wrote for me after the iPhone price cut fiasco. That, my friends, is how you do it. Then again, Katie is the best in the biz. Of course we also have another advantage, which is that our business model aligns our interests with the interests of our customers. The happier they are, the more money we make.
Facebook’s business model is the opposite. It pits Facebook against its customers. The amount of money that Facebook can make is defined (and constrained) by the degree to which its users will allow themselves to be exploited.
Bottom line? This punk scares me. And I miss the days when the Valley was about making chips and routers and computers, not sending people zombie bites and tracking their online purchases. I miss the days when we were the good guys. I really do. Honestly.